One of the things Mr. Bear Cub absolutely wanted at our wedding was a live band. Mr. BC plays guitar, has many friends that have been signed to labels, and always loved going to the Northwest Folklife festival while in college at UW. For him, our event wouldn't be the same without a live band, namely a great folk band.
I really don't know how you're "supposed" to find a band for a wedding. The odds of finding the right band, at the right price, in the right place seem ridiculously stacked against you. But somehow we found a band that fit us just right. We started looking several months ago on the MySpace music page for bands that fit into the criteria of "americana", "bluegrass", and "folk". Hopefully with a bit of an Irish flair, and specifically with a mandolin (we'd love to have Nickel Creek play our wedding, but that's just not going to happen). After several weeks of listening to bands in the Portland area, we discovered a lot of great new artists to listen to at home - but no band to sign for our wedding. We emailed a handful of bands, but few of them wanted to make the drive to the Oregon coast for a Sunday wedding. Boo. :( If you're in the Eugene area, go check out this band - I wish we could have booked them!
We were looking for a band similar to Mrs. Cherry Pie's and Miss Cowboy Boots - folksy, bluegrass, chill, and altogether awesome.
Then I followed Mrs. Joey's sage advice - I listed an ad on craigslist for a band. Miraculously, I got an email (from a real band!). I've never been so sure about listing ads on craigslist, nor how well they work, but apparently they do! Amazingly, the band that emailed was just what we were looking for - mandolin, folksy, irishy, upbeat, and *gasp* they also randomly specialize in latin music! Since we've been making our home in South America, we decided it would be fun to learn some salsa moves for the wedding! Luckily our band will be hip to that jive. ;)
For our wedding, Mr. Bear Cub and I booked the talented Terracoustic band from Portland. They feature a mandolin, a six-string fiddle, and an upright bass. You can check out their myspace page here, along with band member pages here and here.
Mr. BC also wants jam-sessions to be a prominent part of our wedding weekend. He has envisioned friends bringing their instruments, laughing and playing together by the camp fire. We've invited our band to stay with us at the camp for the entire weekend, and especially to jam with us! (I might even break out my flute ;) )
Terracoustic will be playing our reception at the camp lodge, and we've asked them to learn two songs for us. The first one we will dance to, and the second will be a surprise for everyone, including you. ;)
I've shared with the hive our indecision with regards to our "first dance" song. I really wanted to dance to Somebody Loved by The Weepies, but in the end, I realized that it wouldn't be the best song for a male voice to cover. Our song was staring us in the face, and we didn't even realize it until day 1 of our dance lessons. Mr. Bear Cub started playing a song by Nickel Creek, and it just fit.
(this video is much better, but can only be viewed on youtube)
The song is called "When You Come Back Down" - it's definitely not the SAPPY love song that "Somebody Loved" is, but it holds special significance to us (plus it will be easier for our band to cover!). When Mr. BC and I had just started dating (3 years ago!), he sent me this song, and told me that when it came on his ipod while on a long bike ride, it reminded him of me, and it made him think fondly of me. I've since then grown to love Nickel Creek (and Mr. BC!), and I think the meaning of the song fits us. We both think it's important to let each other chase our dreams, but we want to be there for the other if need (or want) be. Mr. BC always tells me how proud he is of me for chasing my dreams; he'll support me in my wishes, and I in his.
If you're having a band play your reception, how did you find it? What are some other good bands you've found along the way? Are you keeping anything about your reception entertainment a secret from your guests?